Author Topic: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?  (Read 3667 times)

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Offline Diaval

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Hello all,

Ok, I am currently a regular poster over at DeviantART and one of the things I take part in is costumes and cosplay discussions.  One group came along that that did costumes for themselves for the primary cast of Maleficent (2014).  They took pictures in what I assumed was a park setting but had older medieval style buildings that they used as backdrops.  Well, after I was chatting with the group for a while, they told me they took the pictures at a Renaissance Festival.   Now I have never been to one before, but I have heard of them.  I really have not delved at what goes on at one.  So I asked them and they gave me information on a Renfest that was fairly close to me in upstate NY (NYRF Tuxedo Park).  They gave me a link to the website so I could look up what goes on there.   So I checked it out and was completely blown away...I mean jousting for real?!?!  That alone is something I have to see.  So the group told me that they had a good time and it is a lot of fun to go in costume even for a first time.

Ok, so looking on line, the Renfest in NY is moderately far away (about an hour and a half trip), I would like to check it out.  However, as suggested,  I would like to go in costume. I have a whole family.  My wife, Myself and two twin 8 year old boys.

I recently have been checking out some websites where you can buy 'garb' but what I have seen was discouraging.  I have seen prices on some items vary considerably from site to site and that is for the SAME item.   One site had a tunic I liked for $108 and then two sites later I see the SAME tunic with the SAME picture, no less, for $70.   So feeling like the possibility of getting ripped off is high, I decided to sign up to this forum and drop a couple lines to get some advice on where to purchase Renaissance garb.

I don't have a particular characters in mind, but that might change as time progresses.  I know I have until late September as that is when the NYRF ends (It starts August and runs every weekend until the last week in September).   I will say that for a first time out I am not looking to go with something that is perfectly 100% accurate.  Furthermore I would rather go with something that is moderate in price, but something I could add on to and change up in subsequent years.   I am more willing to to go more elaborate on the wife and myself and take more liberties with the kids.

I am looking to do something that looks decent but isn't going to kill my wallet.  But I do want something that is better than a Halloween costume as I know those are horribly made and also cheesy looking (voice of experience having kids).  I don't want something that is so cheap it will fall apart.   

Another thing I am interested in is a site that handles plus sizes.  I am a fairly large guy and need something in a plus size.  My wife is fine though with normal sizes.

I would think in terms of a style I would like to go with a Nobleman, Wife & family look...not overly aristocratic.  I know when it comes to my wife, I don't mind fixing her up in something a bit nicer, such as one of those nice dresses with the fairy (bell) sleeves.   It is just that there is a bewildering amount of garb out there and I would like to put something together that looks nice, and is fairly accurate, but it doesn't have to be 100% accurate.   I am also looking for something comfortable as even in late September you can get fairly warm days and I for one get heated up very fast due to my size.

So in addition to finding a good on-line garb dealer, I am open to any suggestions and advice.

Thank You,

Diaval.
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Offline Lady L

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2015, 03:20:38 AM »
Greetings!

At the top of the page is a stickied thread about Trusted Online Garb sites.

http://www.renaissancefestival.com/forums/index.php/topic,9744.0.html

There are a lot of them, so have fun looking through all of them! I am sure you will find something you like, or maybe several!
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Offline Dinobabe

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2015, 10:04:18 AM »
There are a few Facebook resale groups for ren garb and I second the trusted list of retailers as mentioned above.
For the kids check out your local thrift store.  You'd be amazed at what you can adapt from there with a little cut and stitch!
Do google searches for "renaissance faire" images and find looks that you like.  That will help narrow it down a bit.
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Offline Lady Renee Buchanan

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2015, 10:59:19 AM »
A suggestion from a Rennie since 1980!

Go on the NY faire's website, look at their vendors, and go to the vendors' website to look at their offerings for you and your wife.  Garb is not cheap!  My noble gown was custom made by Lady Kathleen on this forum, and if she made that gown today, it would cost over $1200.

Back to the vendors at faire.  Until you try things on, you won't know how they will fit or look.  I suggest that you go in the morning in mundane clothing, and head over to the vendor/s whose garb you like from the website.  You will know the prices beforehand, so it won't be a shock!  Also, I have never been to a shop at any faire where the salespeople weren't super helpful.  They will assist you in finding the correct size, show you how to put it on correctly (yes, there is a proper way to fluff!), and can coordinate an outfit so you won't have on piece from way different eras.

For the kids, I second thrift shops.  If you or your wife have any sewing skills, it is simple to take a large pillowcase and cut arm slits and a neck hole and sew seams.  Then take felt and make a crusader's cross and sew or glue it on.  Black pants underneath.  You have a costume!  Or black pants and a pouffy shirt, a sash around the waist, and a skull and crossbones bandana, voila, a pirate.

I bet everyone on this forum has a garb horror story, and usually t's from when they first started going to faire.  The best advice I can give is to try it on.

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Offline theChuck

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2015, 11:26:03 AM »
Go on the NY faire's website, look at their vendors, and go to the vendors' website to look at their offerings for you and your wife.  Garb is not cheap!  My noble gown was custom made by Lady Kathleen on this forum, and if she made that gown today, it would cost over $1200.

Back to the vendors at faire.  Until you try things on, you won't know how they will fit or look.  I suggest that you go in the morning in mundane clothing, and head over to the vendor/s whose garb you like from the website.  You will know the prices beforehand, so it won't be a shock!  Also, I have never been to a shop at any faire where the salespeople weren't super helpful.  They will assist you in finding the correct size, show you how to put it on correctly (yes, there is a proper way to fluff!), and can coordinate an outfit so you won't have on piece from way different eras.

Exactly this.

My home fair is NYRF (there are so few of us on the boards!). There are a number of great vendors at the fair: Moresca, Knightly Endeavors, Casta Diva, and a few others I can't think of. Walk through the shops, try stuff on, see how things go, and take it from there. NYRF also happens to be a hot fair (not southern hot, but you know how NY summers are hot and humid), so you'll probably want clothing that breathes well. Trying stuff on will help with that.

I'd also recommend going a bit earlier in the season; the last few weeks tend to be absolutely insane. A somewhat slower weekend would be good to shop around, and then go another weekend all decked out.

(Sidenote: if you have any questions at all about the fair, feel free to message me.)
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Offline Diaval

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2015, 01:17:15 PM »
Greetings!

At the top of the page is a stickied thread about Trusted Online Garb sites.

http://www.renaissancefestival.com/forums/index.php/topic,9744.0.html

There are a lot of them, so have fun looking through all of them! I am sure you will find something you like, or maybe several!

I have taken a peek at a few but was bewildered by the selections and in many cases the prices are staggering.  Being that the list is long, I wanted to cut to the chase to those vendors that are good to deal with and affordable.  As I said, I am not going for 100% accuracy right now, but something that looks the part.  I can always upgrade later on should this be something my family enjoys.

There are a few Facebook resale groups for ren garb and I second the trusted list of retailers as mentioned above.
For the kids check out your local thrift store.  You'd be amazed at what you can adapt from there with a little cut and stitch!
Do google searches for "renaissance faire" images and find looks that you like.  That will help narrow it down a bit.
Welcome to our world!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RenFaireSwapMeet/?ref=browser
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SCAYardSale/?ref=browser
https://www.facebook.com/groups/garb4sale/?ref=browser
https://www.facebook.com/groups/143532889075374/?ref=browser

Thank you, I will take a look at those sites.  For the record, we don't have a spinning wheel (sewing machine) and other than patching things up, neither the wife nor I are handy with needle and thread.

A suggestion from a Rennie since 1980!

Go on the NY faire's website, look at their vendors, and go to the vendors' website to look at their offerings for you and your wife.  Garb is not cheap!  My noble gown was custom made by Lady Kathleen on this forum, and if she made that gown today, it would cost over $1200.

Back to the vendors at faire.  Until you try things on, you won't know how they will fit or look.  I suggest that you go in the morning in mundane clothing, and head over to the vendor/s whose garb you like from the website.  You will know the prices beforehand, so it won't be a shock!  Also, I have never been to a shop at any faire where the salespeople weren't super helpful.  They will assist you in finding the correct size, show you how to put it on correctly (yes, there is a proper way to fluff!), and can coordinate an outfit so you won't have on piece from way different eras.

For the kids, I second thrift shops.  If you or your wife have any sewing skills, it is simple to take a large pillowcase and cut arm slits and a neck hole and sew seams.  Then take felt and make a crusader's cross and sew or glue it on.  Black pants underneath.  You have a costume!  Or black pants and a pouffy shirt, a sash around the waist, and a skull and crossbones bandana, voila, a pirate.

I bet everyone on this forum has a garb horror story, and usually t's from when they first started going to faire.  The best advice I can give is to try it on.

Yes, I have noticed the prices already.  But being the sole provider for a family of four, I was looking at something that is half that cost for the whole family.   Again, I don't have to go too crazy or be too accurate, but something that looks decent and that we can have fun with.

Thank you for the advice on the vendors.  That was one of my concerns as the medieval period spans a few hundred years and I am sure that there were fashion trends across that time period and thus I am aware that it might look ridiculous wearing a fashionable top from the 1400's when the pants were popular in the 1600's.    Which in one aspect, I was thinking more of a robe.   I find it harder to find something for a guy than a woman.  As it is with a woman, a full dress (or chemise / overdress) seems to be fairly easy to pick out.  But it is true that I could easily make the mistake of getting a dress from the 1400's and matching that with a hat from the 1600's.  Again out of place.   So that is my main worry about shopping on-line.

As I said above, I am not really handing with sewing something on a large scale like that and I don't think my wife is either.   We don't have a machine.

Yes, I certainly would like to avoid the horror story.  As it is I am already finding out that there are some sites that offer reasonable prices and others that gouge for the SAME garb.   I found that out after looking through some sites on that list.

Go on the NY faire's website, look at their vendors, and go to the vendors' website to look at their offerings for you and your wife.  Garb is not cheap!  My noble gown was custom made by Lady Kathleen on this forum, and if she made that gown today, it would cost over $1200.

Back to the vendors at faire.  Until you try things on, you won't know how they will fit or look.  I suggest that you go in the morning in mundane clothing, and head over to the vendor/s whose garb you like from the website.  You will know the prices beforehand, so it won't be a shock!  Also, I have never been to a shop at any faire where the salespeople weren't super helpful.  They will assist you in finding the correct size, show you how to put it on correctly (yes, there is a proper way to fluff!), and can coordinate an outfit so you won't have on piece from way different eras.

Exactly this.

My home fair is NYRF (there are so few of us on the boards!). There are a number of great vendors at the fair: Moresca, Knightly Endeavors, Casta Diva, and a few others I can't think of. Walk through the shops, try stuff on, see how things go, and take it from there. NYRF also happens to be a hot fair (not southern hot, but you know how NY summers are hot and humid), so you'll probably want clothing that breathes well. Trying stuff on will help with that.

I'd also recommend going a bit earlier in the season; the last few weeks tend to be absolutely insane. A somewhat slower weekend would be good to shop around, and then go another weekend all decked out.

(Sidenote: if you have any questions at all about the fair, feel free to message me.)

Yes, I know all to well about how NY temps and humidity can get and it does have me wondering why they have Renfests in the dead heat of summer knowing most people will be wearing (what I consider) fairly heavy costumes (or at least they look heavy).  I mean think about a knight dressed in armor for the jousting tourney.  Doesn't he cook in that can?

Luckily I have noticed that the NY fair does run late into September.    The NY Renfest is close enough to visit, but still far enough away to keep me from making more than one trip a year.

I live on Long Island and from what I understand they used to have a Renfest at Sands Point, but as of last year, it permanently closed down.  The only other festival they have on Long Island is the Pirate festival they have at the Maritime Museum.  The problem with that it is the last week in June.  It will be hot and humid and from what I can see on the overhead satellite shot, the site has very few trees to take cover under.  In addition it is only one month away.  So that is too close.  I might go to that fair just to check it out, but not in costume.

As for NYRF, I do recall seeing a listing of vendors and I had already checked some out, so I can go back and take a look some more from those vendors.  Perhaps contacting those I am interested in ahead of time might prove to be helpful when I finally get out and meet them at the fair.   Still I would like to go in some kind of costume even though it will be something to start off.

Edit:


My home fair is NYRF (there are so few of us on the boards!). There are a number of great vendors at the fair: Moresca, Knightly Endeavors, Casta Diva, and a few others I can't think of.

I took a look at those vendors that have a website.  I liked Moresca, but the issue with that vendor is that they have very little in terms of plus sizes for me.  Not sure if I mentioned that earlier but I am quite a large fellow and that does add to the challenges.   My wife and kids are pretty thin, so they will not be a problem.  I just don't want to go too crazy with my first endeavor out.   But Moresca's prices don't seem to be that bad.  One of her really nice dresses was under $300, but made of velour, my wife would die in that if it is a hot weekend.

This is something very doable for her:

http://www.moresca.com/product_info.php?products_id=68

There is plenty room in that price for accessories.  But the question I have is that dress seems to look a bit 'modern'?!?!


Thank you all for the information thusfar.

Diaval
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 02:17:09 PM by Diaval »
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Offline theChuck

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2015, 03:00:05 PM »
Yes, I know all to well about how NY temps and humidity can get and it does have me wondering why they have Renfests in the dead heat of summer knowing most people will be wearing (what I consider) fairly heavy costumes (or at least they look heavy).  I mean think about a knight dressed in armor for the jousting tourney.  Doesn't he cook in that can?

Luckily I have noticed that the NY fair does run late into September.    The NY Renfest is close enough to visit, but still far enough away to keep me from making more than one trip a year.

I live on Long Island and from what I understand they used to have a Renfest at Sands Point, but as of last year, it permanently closed down.  The only other festival they have on Long Island is the Pirate festival they have at the Maritime Museum.  The problem with that it is the last week in June.  It will be hot and humid and from what I can see on the overhead satellite shot, the site has very few trees to take cover under.  In addition it is only one month away.  So that is too close.  I might go to that fair just to check it out, but not in costume.

As for NYRF, I do recall seeing a listing of vendors and I had already checked some out, so I can go back and take a look some more from those vendors.  Perhaps contacting those I am interested in ahead of time might prove to be helpful when I finally get out and meet them at the fair.   Still I would like to go in some kind of costume even though it will be something to start off.

Yeah, there used to be a fair at Sands Point. It was run by the Kingdom of Acre, who I believe was tangentially affiliated with SCA.

I've also often wondered why there are no fairs in our area when the weather is better. Actually, the spring Connecticut fair is coming up at the end of May - it's smaller, to be sure, but they also have some shops that could be good. And being in May/early June, it's a lot more comfortable. There's also the fall Connecticut fair (late September through October), which is also pretty fun. Apologies for the shameless plugging, but you may want to check out The Renlist, a site (run by me) that lists fairs in our area.

I took a look at those vendors that have a website.  I liked Moresca, but the issue with that vendor is that they have very little in terms of plus sizes for me.  Not sure if I mentioned that earlier but I am quite a large fellow and that does add to the challenges.   My wife and kids are pretty thin, so they will not be a problem.  I just don't want to go too crazy with my first endeavor out.   But Moresca's prices don't seem to be that bad.  One of her really nice dresses was under $300, but made of velour, my wife would die in that if it is a hot weekend.

This is something very doable for her:

http://www.moresca.com/product_info.php?products_id=68

There is plenty room in that price for accessories.  But the question I have is that dress seems to look a bit 'modern'?!?!

Yeah, that's not a historically accurate piece; it's more fantasy than anything. In full honesty - and I'll defer to my betters on this forum - I'm not really sure that 'fairly accurate' can be accomplished on a low budget. You can probably pull off a sort of peasant look, but the intricacy involved in nobility pieces means more labor, which increases cost. Alternatively, you could try sewing the pieces yourselves, if you have a deft hand.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 03:00:34 PM by theChuck »
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Offline Dinobabe

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 03:30:04 PM »
Your best bet for a balance of HA and price is the FB resale sites.  Most of the stuff is decent quality things people have made for themselves and have just decided they don't need anymore or have outgrown.

I recently bought a very basic nobles set (man and woman) on a FB site.  I'm going to change several things to bring it up a notch or two.  In the long run it will cost me significantly less than making the set from scratch.

You may want to start with low cost and not worry too much about HA or even if it's fantasy or not.  Make sure you have fun first!  If you spend all the time, money, and energy worrying about doing it "right" you might loose the appeal once you actually get to faire.  Then you will really feel like you wasted money!  Check out a thrift store for your entire family.  Go early to fair.  You can always upgrade while there or take mental notes of things you see and like and look for them online.  Then go another weekend later.  The important thing is that you have fun, not that you are HA!  (unless HA is fun for you ;) )

Good luck!
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Offline Diaval

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2015, 05:16:11 PM »
Yeah, there used to be a fair at Sands Point. It was run by the Kingdom of Acre, who I believe was tangentially affiliated with SCA.

Yes, from what I understand, last year was the last time they held it at Sands Point.  So I just missed it.

Quote
I've also often wondered why there are no fairs in our area when the weather is better.

At first I thought it was because kids are out of school and that is why they hold renfests in summer.  BUT then renfests seem to only operated on weekends anyway, including the massive NYRF. 

Quote
Actually, the spring Connecticut fair is coming up at the end of May - it's smaller, to be sure, but they also have some shops that could be good. And being in May/early June, it's a lot more comfortable.

Is that the Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire?  I was looking up some clips on it via YouTube and so far from what I am seeing, I am not impressed.  It doesn't even look like they have jousting or your typical Renaissance Fair fixtures.  Even the small Lakewood Renaissance Faire in New Jersey offers jousting and knights fighting.   But so far the problem I am seeing (or not seeing for that matter) is that the latter two mentioned fairs don't seem to have much for the kids to do, whereas the NYRF clearly is chocked full of medieval kiddie rides and games.   While the NYRF is the most expensive of the three, it clearly outclasses them.   (BTW, the reason I picked these three renfests is because these three are the closest to me).


<< There's also the fall Connecticut fair (late September through October), which is also pretty fun. Apologies for the shameless plugging, but you may want to check out The Renlist, a site (run by me) that lists fairs in our area.>>

This fair I am not familiar with in CT. 

Edit:  Actually I think the Connecticut fair you were referring to is this one:

http://ctfaire.com/get-tickets/directions/

The dates certainly match your description, but it says they are changing locations.  Hmmmm, so then, I am not sure where this one will be held.

So Renlist is your site?  Great job!  That is the site I have been using to find Renfests.  I have seen other sites but yours seems to be the most up to date.

Quote

...
There is plenty room in that price for accessories.  But the question I have is that dress seems to look a bit 'modern'?!?!

Yeah, that's not a historically accurate piece; it's more fantasy than anything. In full honesty - and I'll defer to my betters on this forum - I'm not really sure that 'fairly accurate' can be accomplished on a low budget. You can probably pull off a sort of peasant look, but the intricacy involved in nobility pieces means more labor, which increases cost. Alternatively, you could try sewing the pieces yourselves, if you have a deft hand.
[/quote]

Hmmm, not too good with sewing by hand.  My mom had a machine at one time and I found my way around that believe it or not, but she no longer has it.  My wife just can patch holes up and such.   It would look like I have to resort to buying something.  I might have to go with more of a lower class...was there something in between a peasant and nobleman?  Sort of a merchant or businessman type look?  Something a little bit above a peasant?

Your best bet for a balance of HA and price is the FB resale sites.  Most of the stuff is decent quality things people have made for themselves and have just decided they don't need anymore or have outgrown.

FB?  Fan based?  I am assuming.  Forgive me if I don't get all the abbreviations as I am new to the renfest world.

Quote
I recently bought a very basic nobles set (man and woman) on a FB site.  I'm going to change several things to bring it up a notch or two.  In the long run it will cost me significantly less than making the set from scratch.

That sounds like an interesting approach.   As I was saying to Chuck, I don't have a machine to work with.  My wife? I don't know what kind of spell she could conjure up (pun intended...a dry Maleficent joke).  I know she can 'fix' clothes, but not make anything from scratch.   But I certainly figured that fixing up something existing would cost far less than something made from scratch or ready made.   

Quote
You may want to start with low cost and not worry too much about HA or even if it's fantasy or not.  Make sure you have fun first!

Agreed.  Furthermore, I have found out the renfest I am most interested in, NYRF Tuxedo Park, DOES have an entire section dedicated to fairies.  So that is clear indication that the fantasy based garb is not looked down upon there.  So far that one does seem like it is quite a bit of fun and I can see there is something for the kids to do too.   I didn't get that impression from other renfests I was looking into including one that is fantasy based (Midsummer Fantasy Renaissance Faire in Connecticut).

Quote
  If you spend all the time, money, and energy worrying about doing it "right" you might loose the appeal once you actually get to faire.  Then you will really feel like you wasted money!

Well, from what I am understanding as I am reading is that it seems that the historical accuracy applies more to those being a vendor or performer.   THAT I can see.   So it is not as important to be HA for a patron, but still I do want something that isn't so far off that it is out of place.

Quote
  Check out a thrift store for your entire family.

What would I look for there?  I know that my thrift store does have a Halloween section, but it mostly that store bought 'plastic' junk that falls apart.  Furthermore, that plastic material stuff is the worst thing to wear if it is warm out.

Quote
  Go early to fair.  You can always upgrade while there or take mental notes of things you see and like and look for them online.  Then go another weekend later.  The important thing is that you have fun, not that you are HA!  (unless HA is fun for you ;) )

As I said earlier, I do live close enough to the NYRF to make the trip, but it is too far (and too expensive) to go up twice in one year.  As it is that fair is the most expensive one out of the ones I been looking at, but it clearly seems to be the best one.   So what I thought about doing is going up and staying at a hotel overnight so this way I could get an early start the next day.  Then, like you said, I could check out some vendors and add to what costume I would arrive in.  That does seem like the best bet.

Quote
Good luck!

Thank You.

Diaval
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 05:26:00 PM by Diaval »
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Offline Trillium

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2015, 05:45:51 PM »
Do some online searches, especially in Pinterest,  for your particular festival or renfest costumes in general and you will start to get a feel for what you like, what is garb, and what is cheap Halloween costume.  It will help you see where to start.  Natural fabrics are always best, historical accuracy is not necessary. Sometimes you can get lucky at thrrift stores for things like long basic skirts and a peasant shirt for you wife, a modern style that comes and goes, baggy pants for you, pants for the boys. I always pick up a cheap pair of pants for my son at goodwill,  cheaper than the store.  You could also belts and shoes if you keep an open mind. The first time in garb won't be perfect, but it goes up from there as you learn what you like.  And we are hsppy to help!  If you enjoy it, i would suggest one or both of you learning to sew, it comes out cheaper in the long run and you get what you want.
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Offline Trillium

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2015, 05:48:43 PM »
Also, there is a site, www.renshirts.com that has shirts for large men pretty reasonably priced.
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Offline theChuck

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2015, 07:55:34 PM »
FB?  Fan based?  I am assuming.  Forgive me if I don't get all the abbreviations as I am new to the renfest world.

She meant Facebook - the reseller pages that were linked to earlier.

Also, Robin Hood Springtime Festival is the spring CT fair. It's in North Haven, CT. King Arthur Faire is the fall CT fair. I'll update the site when I learn when/where the fall fair is.
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Offline Dinobabe

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2015, 10:04:22 PM »
Thank you Chuck!

As for thrift stores you have to throw out your modern based perceptions when looking at clothing. 
Google images for "peasant blouse" and that might give you an idea.
Women's capri pants make great men's breeches.
Layered pencil skirts with the top one hiked up.
Formal or wedding dresses; cut the skirt off.
Vests; you might be able to find something close enough.  And, yes, they had buttons!  Not everything has to be laced.  Besides, this is budget costuming at it's best so don't sweat the small stuff!
Check this blog out.  She makes some sewing changes but, honestly, you probably wouldn't need to.
http://www.andreaschewedesign.com/blog/renfaire-wear-part-2-ladys-thrift-store-outfit
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Offline Diaval

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2015, 10:31:48 PM »
Do some online searches, especially in Pinterest,  for your particular festival or renfest costumes in general and you will start to get a feel for what you like, what is garb, and what is cheap Halloween costume.  It will help you see where to start.  Natural fabrics are always best, historical accuracy is not necessary. Sometimes you can get lucky at thrrift stores for things like long basic skirts and a peasant shirt for you wife, a modern style that comes and goes, baggy pants for you, pants for the boys. I always pick up a cheap pair of pants for my son at goodwill,  cheaper than the store.  You could also belts and shoes if you keep an open mind. The first time in garb won't be perfect, but it goes up from there as you learn what you like.  And we are hsppy to help!  If you enjoy it, i would suggest one or both of you learning to sew, it comes out cheaper in the long run and you get what you want.

Good evening, your highness. I am honored that you have graced us with your presence (bows in reverence).

Yes, I am all well aware of the horrors of the costume made for the festival of Halloween.  Having twin boys of my own, I have had my share of experiences in dealing with poorly made clothing.   As such this past year (2014) I have taken it upon myself to put together a custom outfit for my wife, Maleficent:

http://ravendiablo.deviantart.com/art/Halloween-2014-Maleficent-Full-H2T-shot-with-staff-492002479

No Halloween costume for m'lady as you can clearly see.

Well, for my boys I do not need to get anything extravagant and will probably look into the local thrift merchant in my hamlet.  Boys will be boys as they say and I sure then will get plenty soiled during the long hours we plan to attend the renfest.  For the wife and I, I did intend for something a bit nicer.  Not too much myself, but for her, well I don't mind getting her something nicer.  I will see where it is I can spend money on and where I need to save.   I think getting stuff for myself will be harder than for my wife.  As I am unsure of what style I should get.  Strangely I am a more familiar with women's outfits of the period than men's outfits perhaps because my mind is still fresh from doing research for my wife's outfit last year.

Also, there is a site, www.renshirts.com that has shirts for large men pretty reasonably priced.

Splendid!  Yes I did take a quick gander at that site and it certainly is a step in the right direction.  In the very least they do have my size in most items.

Well, thank you very much, your highness.  Hopefully we will cross paths in the future...in fact given my 'ren-newbie' status here, I am sure of it.

Have a pleasant evening (bows again).

FB?  Fan based?  I am assuming.  Forgive me if I don't get all the abbreviations as I am new to the renfest world.

She meant Facebook - the reseller pages that were linked to earlier.

Also, Robin Hood Springtime Festival is the spring CT fair. It's in North Haven, CT. King Arthur Faire is the fall CT fair. I'll update the site when I learn when/where the fall fair is.

Ahhh, I see. Didn't click as I do not use Facebook.

Yeah, the spring, Robin Hood one is too close.  I am probably going to pass on that one, but the other one falls in October.  I like that as I know I would appreciate the cooler weather.   It looks like it is nicer than the Midsummer Fantasy Renfaire as well.  But so far, it looks like NYRF seems to be the best one.  Even though it is more expensive than the rest, it sure looks like it is worth the price of admission.

Thank you Chuck!

As for thrift stores you have to throw out your modern based perceptions when looking at clothing. 
Google images for "peasant blouse" and that might give you an idea.
Women's capri pants make great men's breeches.

Ahhh, yes, and I have seen those with ties on the bottom too as those with elastic would be period correct.

Quote
Layered pencil skirts with the top one hiked up.
Formal or wedding dresses; cut the skirt off.

And this would be good for?

Quote
Vests; you might be able to find something close enough.  And, yes, they had buttons!  Not everything has to be laced.  Besides, this is budget costuming at it's best so don't sweat the small stuff!

Oh yes, buttons I know are ok. But usually for upper classes I presume.   Most garb I see uses ties.   However,  I know things like zippers, certain clasps, and elastics are out of period.

Quote
Check this blog out.  She makes some sewing changes but, honestly, you probably wouldn't need to.
http://www.andreaschewedesign.com/blog/renfaire-wear-part-2-ladys-thrift-store-outfit

Oh wow!  I am impressed!  That outfit certainly fooled me as it probably would most renfest patrons.

Well thank you and thank you all for the information.

Have a good night!

Diaval
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 10:40:06 PM by Diaval »
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Offline Lady L

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Re: New to Renfests would love to go to one in costume where to begin?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2015, 03:21:56 AM »
Some of the larger faires also rent out garb for the day. I am not familiar with the area you are going to, but you could check their websites and see if they have rentals? Try before you buy.

A basic ensemble for guys would be a loose cotton or linen shirt and pants. I have seen loose pants (similar to sweatpants) but in cotton and then you can add to it as you find other pieces, maybe a leather belt. A basic for women would be a chemise, skirt and you could purchase a bodice (as they need to be fitted correctly).  After you look around and narrow down what you like, then spend money on that. I know some people who buy just one pair of well made shoes/boots one year and then other pieces the next year, for example. Because, it is an investment.

I made all of our garb, but purchased anything metal or leather. There's a lot more available now, than when we first went, more than 40  years ago.

Here's an idea, too...There are many videos on Youtube from faires all over and from different years. You might see some garb you like on there, to see what others wear.

Also, we have found many pottery pieces, swords and other merchandise that had been originally sold at MNRF, at  thrift/used stores in our area. You never know what you can find there.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 03:45:20 AM by Lady L »
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